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Special Princess Farty Unicorn, sleeping in her comfy spot. I DO NOT HATE THIS SKETCH! Possibly because I got parts of the cat right. Possibly because she moved before I could do much comparing. The line of the back could be different, to imply a more correct foreshortening.

What else? I went for a walk, wearing a hoodie and a scarf and no coat because winter seems to be over. It’s fun to consciously remember that one does not have to do the penguin walk, and relax into walking.

Also, I’m reading Wuthering Heights, and am maybe having issues with people being that cuckoo, except that the people in question really have limited experience with humans, so of course. And it is a story, which would be no fun if Catherine said, “Hey, Heathcliff you are so not where I’m at,” and convinced Linton to move to London so she could see plays and museums and stuff. Also, Ellen, the narrator, brings up a memory of Mr. Earnshaw giving her a shilling for her Christmas box, which brings us really nowhere nearer understanding what Boxing day was all about, except a box is involved somehow.

Also, all those things that are happening. Ack.

This is depressing as fuck.

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But anyway. Things I hope I learn; Pick a single focus or else figure out some way to introduce movement, because this is just awkward. Pencils are magical things that can go DARK  or delicate.  Use this knowledge. Ack. The proportions are better than they’ve been. The cockatiel bookend looks sorta like what it looks like. Oh, yeah. Straight lines; you might want to try them sometime.

Maybe it’s because I’m not just waiting for a really good one to post that I think I suck, but this is really bringing me down. Not sure if I’ll keep posting. I work most of the rest of the week, so being tired might affect things a bit.

In better news, Katniss has strangely become an actual cat, rather than a cat-shaped fat shedding bundle of nerves. She played today! She’s pooping pretty much where she’s supposed to – an incredible relief. My christmas cactus is blooming, as is my dwarf cyclamen. And it was warm today. I went out for a walk, and unzipped my jacket. Because it was a holiday, the town was quiet. Because it is January, the sky was blue.

Day 14: Drawing is stupid. I hate drawing.

Day 15:15-of-365

I pulled out an older sketchbook, and saw things! that I had drawn! that weren’t horrible! Some were even good. So I thought and thought, and abandoned the prompts, and went back to the old sketchbook, and grabbed the mechanical pencil I’d used – and made a terrible drawing. So then I made another one, which is not horrible.

So, the new plan is; don’t make yourself crazy, draw every day, a couple of things, post the better one.

What else? Princess Farty Unicorn Katniss is a Reformed Character. We switched her to an actually-grain-free catfood (my error), and we bought Lactaid, so she can have a teaspoon of milk every day. We sympathize with her pooping issues, and I leave my chair in the middle of the afternoon, so she can sleep in it. In return, she isn’t nuts, just crabby and demanding. And much more active, and actually playing. Much better.

For fun, I checked the online prices of three of the medications I take for lungs. Nearly $400. It will probably take two years for the end of ACA/medicaid block grants, by which time I’ll be eligible for Medicare, if that’s still available.

In the meantime, I’ll just be here doing what I do.

I have issues.

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I was peevish when I did this page, but you never would have guessed, would you? Also, “Draw hands” for a prompt? That’s the best you could do? I was monkeying around with ideas, but I didn’t do well. The bottom left is merely awful. There were two other pages, all at least this bad. I’m trying to move on.

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Day 12; peevishness returns. “Draw what you had for dinner.” Hello? I already ate it. (Ravioli and butternut squash. Really pretty good. In a nice sauce. Not bad for frozen.) So, I was on the verge of drawing a circle for the bowl with some circles for the ravioli, but then I happened to start shading, and the graphite felt nice and smooth, and it wouldn’t be so much trouble to add shading, . . . Dark blue bowl, by the way. I wasn’t being petty about that.

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Day 13. I’m discovering that if I hold the paper kind of off to one side, and maybe lean a little too far to the left, I can really really skew perspective. Oops. Too bad. The left side was okay.

But I realized that a certain amount of my problem is that I dislike this sketchbook intensely. It’s not wire-bound, but the pages lie pretty flat. It’s got this cool magnetic clasp! which means you have to contend with a flapping thing trying to get in your way. I’m considering taking a scissors or something to it, and replacing it with a big rubber band. I’m not comfortable with pen sketching (see the hands? Pen), but I like the graphite pencil a lot, and I like  my Wolff’s BB drawing pencil even more. I might go find another sketchbook, but I am going to keep up, even if I’m peevish.

On the plus side, I’ve been prototyping a 3D pendant design. I pinned the pieces in place after flooding one piece with solder and turned the torch up high. By gosh, it actually worked. I need to look at it again tomorrow and see if this version is worth more work. If not, I have other ideas.

In other news, it’s January. I forget every year how much I love this month, with the cyan blue skies, and all the different colors of light.

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Uck. And smeary. Part of the lens is good. I’m crabby about this one.

Part of the problem is I get tired of working on an image, and walk away. I also dance back and forth between line and rendering, and between seeing and thinking.

I called Duffy’s office today, and was told that in the staff meeting today, the representative made a big point of telling the staff that while there might be a vote to repeal, by the actual end date there would be a new plan in place.  The woman who answers the phone is nice, and I make a point to be nice also. Dialogue!

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“Draw your bed.” So I did a quick 30-second sketch of my bed, the one where I’d taken a nap and kinda tossed the covers back, the one where I have five pillows and three blankets and no bedspread, in the room where I don’t turn the overhead light on after dark, and realized that might be too much. So I did one corner with two pillows and a blanket all tumbled, and while I failed in so many ways, parts of the top left pillow are good. And I remembered how great it is to draw folds in cloth. I’m glad I’m doing this. I had forgotten how great it is to sit and draw.

In good citizenship, I called my representative in Washington and left a message explaining that cutting people’s salary to $1/day was petty and vindictive for the party that won. I think I’m averaging a call a day. No going gently into this particular abyss.

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Ack. I hate honesty.

The one on top is more true, and is also the second one. I get the feeling if I’d done a third, it would have been all right.

I’m glad I’m doing this. Obvs, this particular skill has rusted. I just read an article on creating elipses, and that helped. I had also just watched a youtube that said to not draw hard lines, but sketch in little short lines, till you get to the shape you want. In the second sketch I came closer to starting with the darks and progressing to the lights like a good girl. Of course in the second sketch I also had so many mistakes fresh in my head, and was able to skip some of them. We just won’t talk about the three light sources, rendering shadows chaotic. Or the pen that leaked all over my hand, which I then smeared across the paper.

More honesty: in scanning and prepping these, I’m pumping in contrast and skewing the levels. I’m noticing that you can’t see the guidelines I used.

In the real world, I called Wisconsin Senator Johnson, mentioning that gutting ACA would kill me. We’ll see.

EDM Challenges

Day 1: Shoe

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I think I’ll find an actual 2B pencil for tomorrow.

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They’re between 3 and four inches across. The top one has already found a home.

Maybe I should use it for something.

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Scenes from Chequamegon Bay, Friday afternoon.